Last week I wrote about how we need to make more space in our lives for exploration along untrod paths and the act of spontaneous discovery. I gave a couple examples, including another recent article about a couple days I spent on the Trans-America Trail.
I was going through some old pictures of mine and saw some other examples of recent trips I've taken where I was able to see old landscapes in new ways. They made for some pretty pictures, and show how you can find novelty and beauty in even mundane places, like the woods behind your house or a local nature park.
Abandoned Phillips 66 Natural Gas Station
This site- I can only assume it was an abandoned natural gas station- was a few miles to the northwest of Prague. It's proof that you can find interesting opportunities for exploration no matter where you are- even in the middle of rural Oklahoma.
I am curious why it was abandoned, and if it's part of a larger network of fuel lines. Perhaps I could have traced the piping back to another facility!
Woods Behind My Family's Home in Prague, Oklahoma
As 2015 approached, I spent several days by myself in the woods behind my Mom's house in Prague. It was a great way to decompress and meditate on the approaching new year. It also gave me a new appreciation for the beauty of the woods right behind my house. There were loads of interesting tree and rock formations. And despite behind right behind several houses there was a feeling of psychological distance and isolation from civilization, probably due to the valley created by the creek bed that I wrote about at the end of this article.
The River Feeding Turner Falls, Oklahoma
Turner Falls is about an hour from where I lived in Norman, Oklahoma. It's one of the two biggest waterfalls in the state, a bit less than 80 feet tall if I recall correctly.
I'd been there before, and there's all sorts of trouble you can get into climbing around the rock features. This time, my friend and I got curious and decided to follow the river above the falls upstream. We couldn't go far before night set and we had to turn back, but I'd love to return with more time and scout even further back. You might even be able to make a multi-day trip of it, if you didn't mind camping on a small beach in the river canyon.
I hope these examples and images spark some ideas of your own for exploring your landscapes and horizons in new ways. Make space for discoveries in your life. These don't necessarily have to be physical explorations, either. They could be intellectual, romantic, social, or spiritual. It depends on where you feel you need it most.
Dillon Dakota Carroll
...sees much and knows much